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Report No. 42

Chapter 13

Offences Relating to weights and Measures

13.1. Sections 264 to 26.-Recommendation for increasing punishment.-

The four main offences relating to weights and measures are made punishable in Chapter 13 of the Code. These are fraudulent use of a false weighing instrument, fraudulent use of a false weight or a false measure of length or capacity, possessing such instrument, weight or measure, and making or selling such instrument, weight or measure. The maximum punishment under any of the four sections is imprisonment upto one year. Since these offences are committed frequently and with impunity by unscrupulous traders in relation to commodities of every day use, thereby causing much hardship to people, especially to the poorer sections, we feel that the offenders merit deterrent punishment. We would, therefore, suggest that the maximum punishment of one year's imprisonment now provided under these sections should be increased to two years.

13.2. Analogous State laws.-

We find that the State laws dealing with weights and measures also contain penal provisions which cover the kind of acts punishable under sections 264 to 267. We give below, by way of sample, an analysis of the provisions in the Punjab Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1958.-

Section

Gist of offence

Punishment

1

2

3

Section 23.

Selling or delivering, any article by weight or measure other than standard weight or measure. For the first offence -fine upto Rs. 2000; for second or subsequent offence imprisonment upto 3 months, or fine, or both,

Section 24.

Selling unverified or unstamped commercial weight or measures or measuring instruments. Fine upto Rs. 2000.

Section 25.

Using in trade or commerce or having in possession for such use, unverified or unstamped weights. For first offence - fine upto Rs. 2000; for second for subsequent offence imprisonment upto 3 months, or fine, or both.

Section 26.

Manufacturing or repairing or selling commercial wights and measures without licence. Imprisonment upto 3 months, or fine upto Rs. 2000, or both.

Section 27.

Contravening notification prescribing the use of weights only, or measures only, in specified trade or commerce. Fine upto Rs. 2000

Section 28.

Selling or having in possession for sale, article in sealed containers without marking of weight or measure on the containers. Fine upto Rs. 2000.

Section 29.

Fraudulently using standard weights and measures knowing them to be false. Imprisonment upto one year, or fine upto Rs. 2000, or both.

Section 30.

Being n possession of commercial weight or measure , knowing the same to be false and intending that the same may be fraudulently used. Imprisonment upto one year, or fine upto Rs. 2000, or both.

Section 31.

Making, selling or dispersing of standard weights or measure etc. knowing the same to be false or knowing that the same may be or is likely to be used as true. Imprisonment upto one year, or fine upto Rs. 2000, or both.

Section 32.

Delivering in sale article by short weight or measure. Fine upto Rs. 2000.

Section 33.

Forging or counterfeiting stamps use for stamping weights and measure etc., or knowingly using, selling or disposing of such false stamps on it. Imprisonment upto one year, or fine upto Rs. 2000, or both.

Section 34.

Refusing or neglecting to produce weights and measures etc. for inspection Fine upto Rs. 2000.

Section 35.

Inspector knowingly stamping wight or measure in contravention of the Act. Imprisonment upto one, year, or fine, or both.

13.3. Code provisions should be retained.-

It will be noticed that the State Acts are mainly designed to enforce the Central legislation1 establishing standard weights and measures. Prosecutions for offences against these Acts can be instituted only with the sanction of the State Controller of Weights and Measures or other competent authority. A private person's right to make a complaint about such misconduct ought to be retained, and that is one reason for maintaining the provisions in the Penal Code. Further, the State Acts do not impose a severe punishment; none of them, we find, imposes more than one year's imprisonment. In view of the need to treat these offences more severely, we consider it desirable to retain sections 264 to 267 of the Penal Code with the amendment already indicated.

1. The Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1956 (89 of 1956.)



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